Hi, my name is Messie, I live in Pittsburg, CA and I have 15 years of experience as a caregiver.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because I had a loved one that was sick and I had to take care of them and because I'm compassionate about making and helping someone who needs assistance live independently, to help them co-exist as far as shopping, cooking, anything that they may need. And then I also have the heart for them, the heart and compassion and empathy, whatever they need I'm there because I've watched someone very close to me and very sick and they needed my help and so in that I became a caregiver because I wanted to extend that love to others and to help people in the same similar conditions.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be, be patient, be kind, be gentle. You have to get to know your client personally, know their likes and dislikes. You have to know how to work with them and you have to put yourself in someone's shoes. If it were you, if it were your family member. If it was your mom, your father, your child, how would you want them to be treated? So I would tell them to be very patient, very kind, very mild-mannered, easygoing with the person, loving, caring, take their time with them and make their last moments or time or whatever time they'll spend with them memorable so that they're happy and let things move smoothly.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I would never forget is this sweet lady that had surgery on her eye. I had to watch her to make sure she doesn't touch her eye, to take the stitches off her eye while it healed and secondly she thought her husband was still living so periodically she would yell for his name and say his name for him to come and so we had to constantly remind her that he's not living which frustrated her but she was such a sweet lady, okay? Every time she would get agitated she would grab her hand to pull the bandage and all you had to do was softly move her hand or remind her and she would go, "Okay." Or you had to let her know when she spoke of her husband that he's not there so she doesn't keep thinking he's going to come. She had such an easy spirit, a loving woman, very nice. There was no issue. She was quiet, she did it on her own, she was such a sweetheart but I enjoyed being with her. And I loved being in a nursing home because she was in a nursing home and there was another guy that was there, older guy. He would sit there and he would take his foot and kick the women and just kick them and try to kick people so it was a nice experience, quite an experience being there with them, with her.